OUR TEAM
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Jay Lucas

Jay began his career at Bain & Company, where he rose to Partner developing growth strategies for consumer brand and marketing information based companies on a global basis. He was one of the founders of Bain's consulting practice to leveraged buyout funds and their portfolio companies. Through his work for his clients, Jay has developed a depth of experience in several industry sectors including consumer products, retail marketing, pharmaceuticals, and healthy living, among others.

 

Following Bain, Jay founded The Lucas Group, where he serves as Chairman. The Lucas Group is focused on the specialized needs of private equity investors and their portfolio companies; performing due diligence and developing growth strategies. Comprised of former senior partners from Bain, the Lucas Group has performed due diligence on more than 700 transactions, in partnership with such leading private equity investors as Warburg Pincus, Clayton Dubilier & Rice, Welsh Carson, JH Whitney, Goldman Sachs, and Berkshire Partners among others. Building on the success and relationships of The Lucas Group, Jay created Lucas Group Capital to co-invest with private equity investors in the lower middle market. Investment partnership firms include Webster Capital, Gridiron Capital, RFE Investors and Fireman Capital.  

 

In addition to his business interests, Jay has also been active in government and politics.  While in college, he served two terms in the New Hampshire House of Representatives, and later in 1998, ran for Governor, winning the party nomination, but losing in the general election.  Thereafter, he helped Lucas Group develop a nationally recognized practice advising governors and their administrations on how to effectively apply business principles to the government sector.  

Jay has received his Bachelor’s degree from Yale College, his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and his J.D. from the Harvard Law School.

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Jim Morrison

Jim Morrison’s track record of leadership and accomplishment spans three decades and includes over 36 years of experience in successfully launching start ups and masterfully running global powerhouses. 

 

Morrison was President of L’Oreal US for 9 years. He earned the role at the age of 33, making him the youngest member of the Executive Team at L’Oreal. He was responsible for the acquisitions of both Redken and Matrix, and top line growth which averaged over 20% during his tenure. He was also part of the original Matrix leadership team that launched VaVoom and Biolage. 

 

Prior to L’Oreal, Morrison was President and C.E.O. of Graham Webb; one of the most successful start-ups of the 90’s. 

 

After leaving L’Oreal, Morrison was C.E.O. and owner of Sexy Hair Concepts for 4 years. In 2006 Business Week Magazine wrote, “Over the last two decades, Mr. Morrison has had a profound impact on the American Beauty Industry. In the industry’s history no other executive has had the level of  nancial responsibility or breadth of organiza- tional experience as Jim. His devotion to, and success within the American beauty industry is unmatched.” 

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Karen Ballou

Karen Ballou is co-founder and partner at LB Equity, a private equity fund focused on emerging brands in skincare, haircare and cosmetics. She leads the firm’s efforts in product development, formulation and the sourcing of cannabis related brand opportunities. 

 

Karen is also chief executive and founder of LB Equity portfolio company,  Immunocologie, a natural, luxury skincare brand, which utilizes a proprietary technology promoting skin health and appearance. In that role, she also has appeared on QVC and other related venues explaining the brand’s unique benefits.

 

Karen started her career in skincare and cosmetics at Elizabeth Arden where she served in a variety of marketing and sales roles. Later at Redken, Karen was recruited to grow a small start-up company providing beauty tools and instruments for use by spas as well as for consumers to use at home, and then growing the company several-fold over a three-year period.

 

As an independent marketing and branding consultant, Karen has successfully developed and helped bring to market more than 65+ brands in the beauty industry, with an emphasis on natural ingredients that are not only good for skin health, but are highly effective delivering proven results. 

 

Today, Karen is largely focused on new product ideation with biotech companies and naturally sourced ingredients from regions around the world sourced using fair trade and sustainable practices.  Merging her business background with her industry knowledge, Karen is sought after as an industry leader bringing integrity to her formulations and the know how to be successful and shape brands for success. 

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Cavan Pohlschroeder

Cavan Pohlschroeder has been a Venture Capital and Growth Equity investment professional since 2009, joining LB Equity in 2015. Prior to LB Equity, Mr. Pohlschroeder worked at Brightline Capital Partners, a growth stage private equity sponsor focused on impact and sustainability investing. During his time at BCP he was responsible for generating, analyzing and diligencing new investment opportunities within the agribusiness, bioenergy and energy sectors, along with working with portfolio companies. In addition to investment responsibilities at BCP, he spent two years in Corporate Development at an agribusiness portfolio company. Mr. Pohlschroeder started his career with the investment bank Williams Capital Group, where he spent 5 years working with clients across a variety of transactions, including M&A and capital markets related activity in the consumer and energy industries. Mr. Pohlschroeder received a BBA in Finance from Emory University and an MBA from Columbia University.

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Hung Nguyen

Hung is a recent graduate of NYU where he studied Economics and Finance. Hung was born and raised in Hanoi, Vietnam where he attended the United Nations International School. Hung thrives in diverse environments and found it easy to make meaningful connections when he moved to New York City. During his earlier years at NYU, Hung developed and launched a men's fashion brand based in Hanoi that highlights traditional Vietnamese fabrics using modern silhouettes. Hung has always been curious about consumer brands and enjoys learning and talking to founders/leaders in the industry. Prior to joining LBE, Hung completed internships at UNIS, a men's fashion retail and e-commerce brand, with their Business Analytics and Marketing division, as well as in the Finance Team at RBC Capital Markets. Outside of work, he enjoys photography and dance. 

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Erin Knowles

Erin works as Sustainability and Social Impact Manager for LB Equity. She is currently working with brands to catalogue the positive environmental and social impact the brands have had, while also devising goals and strategies to improve upon current initiatives and find new opportunities for innovation. 

 

Prior to working for LBE, Erin worked for Restore the Earth Foundation, a business-minded non-profit that formed strategic partnerships between the public and private sector to facilitate landscape-scale restoration. It was through this that she was inspired to join the private sector, seeing the incredible opportunity business has to promote change and have a positive impact on people and the planet. Erin received her Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies at Loyola University New Orleans. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Sustainability Management program at Columbia University.

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Ariel Sadeghi

Ariel has been with LB Equity since 2017. Previously, Ariel worked in marketing and sales at LB Equity portfolio company Immunocologie and held internships at the Estee Lauder Companies as well as Moxie Communications Group, a strategic communications agency whose clients include top consumer and technology startups. Ariel is a beauty and self-care enthusiast and enjoys testing any and all products. Outside of work, Ariel volunteers as a pro-bono strategy consultant helping nonprofits address their challenges and grow. She received a BA from The University of Pennsylvania.